Kyle has previously stated that he finds poorly done recruiting coverage to be sort of creepy. I agree. That's why, in my capacity as proprietor of MaconDawg's Blawg I began the Too Much Information series of recruiting articles. You can find the relevant groundrules and caveats for the series here.
The premise is this: too much recruiting coverage comes from guys who know little or nothing about football and have a vested interest in the process (namely, getting you to pay them money to tell you what a 16 year old kid told them). I don't necessarily like that. While I think some of the recruiting services (Rivals being one, Scout being another) do a good job, and I wouldn't dissuade you from buying their services, I think there's a certain niche to be filled. Namely, I want to give you an up close look, both pro and con, at the potential of players who are being recruited by your University of Georgia Bulldogs.
We begin this year by looking at the quarterback position. With a stable of qualified signal callers on campus (one of whom, Logan Gray, made an appearance in TMI 2007), Coach Richt is not in dire need of a quarterback. He has, however, stated a preference for recruiting one a year, and has recruited Elite 11 quarterbacks to Athens with the same panace that Tommy Tuberville uses to recruit so many potential Fulbright Scholars to the Plains.
I'll start where our coaching staff always starts: in state. One of the early favorites for top QB in Georgia this year is Paulding County product Zach Thomason, who you can see in action in a couple of free videos from Rivals. Thomason is listed in the 6'4 200 pound range. His statistics were unimpressive in 2006, as he led a young Paulding County squad with a history of success through a 1-9 rebuilding year. The Paulding County football home page only lists stats through the first six games, and in those games Thomason completed a pedestrian 53 of 106 passes (50%) for 572 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He was picked off 8 times. Not encouraging.
Pros: Thomason appears to move well inside and outside the pocket. He throws a good catchable ball on the various screens, slants and dump routes shown on the video. He's clearly comfortable with multi-receiver sets and distributes the ball pretty well on some routes that, while they look mundane, are actually pretty tough to throw correctly in a split second.
Cons: He does get "happy feet" a couple of times, which can affect accuracy. Also, his downfield arm strength is still a question for me, because the video doesn't show any downfield routes. That's not necessarily his fault though, I think it's largely the offense he's in. Thomason will get the chance to answer questions about arm strength this summer at various camps. Unfortunately, a 1 to 4 TD/Int ratio speaks for itself.
Overall impression: The jury's still out on Thomason. There are frankly other, better quarterbacks out there right now, but it may be difficult to get those guys to line up in Athens and wait four years for an opportunity. Thomason is a D-1 caliber player, who could develop into an excellent quarterback. It will be interesting to see how his senior year goes. If the fortunes of the Paulding Patriots turn, Thomason may find himself gaining the attention of recruiters in need of a solid quarterback.
I also heard there was some sort of basketball game last night. I don't really want to talk about it, but I will be back in a little while to do just that. Until then, Go Dawgs!